The second largest fire department in the U.S. as ranked by Firehouse Magazine, the Chicago Fire Department, recently signed a partnership with one of the nation’s first completely online universities, Columbia Southern University (CSU). Chicago firefighters, along with their spouses and children will receive a 10 percent tuition discount and application fee waiver as a result of this partnership.
"We have over 5,500 members in the Chicago Fire Department who will be reaping the rewards of this partnership," said Captain Bob Martin of the Chicago Fire Department. "We hope that through this partnership our members will take the opportunity to pursue a quality education."
The Chicago Fire Department was established in 1832 and is one of the oldest organized fire departments in the nation. It serves the almost three million citizens of Chicago, Illinois with fire suppression and prevention, alleviation of hazardous materials, rescue agencies, and Emergency Medical Service. The department currently employees over 5,500 firefighters and paramedics and has 98 engine companies, 59 truck companies, and 59 ambulance companies.
"At CSU, we are committed to providing firefighters and emergency medical service personnel with the education they need to succeed in their careers," said Chantell Cooley, Vice President of Partnership Development. "Open enrollment, flexible courses, and affordable tuition make earning a quality education possible for those with demanding and unpredictable schedules."
CSU also holds learning partnerships with more than 200 organizations including Delta Air Lines, National Sheriffs’ Association, Commtest, and Quantum Drilling. Over half of CSU partners are fire departments and include the New York City Fire Department, Tulsa Fire Department, Hemet Fire Department, and Tampa Fire and Rescue.